Spiritual Youth Outing

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On Sunday 2nd December 2012, Sundara Lal Prabhu of ISKCON Phoenix organised a spiritual bus tour for the youth, so that they could take advantage of His Holiness Bhakti Dhira Damodar Maharaj's association. Sarvabhauma Prabhu (Vrindavan), Prema Samputa Prabhu (West Africa)and Harinamananda Prabhu (Australia) also participated in the outing.

At 8.30am that day, all the devotees had prasadam together and boarded the bus about an hour later, heading for the very popular Venkateswara temple at La Laura, St Pierre. The bus vibrated with the exhuberent, enthusiastic chanting of the young devotees throughout the entire journey.

Upon arriving at La Laura temple, we were welcomed by the temple pujari, Kishora Krishna. After extending a special welcome to Bhakti Dhira Damodar Maharaj and Sarvabhauma Prabhu he offered arati to Sri Sri Lakshmi-Narayan. Sarvabhauma Prabhu gave a class on a prayer (shantakaram bhujagashayanam)with which Lord Vishnu is worshipped and he explained the features of this particular verse in relation to Lord Venkateshwara. His Holiness Bhakti Dhira Damodar Maharaj then lectured on the importance of good association. The priest was very pleased with the address and invited the ISKCON devotees for the last ekadasi of the year which falls on the 23rd of December. He also informed us that a chariot monument of Lord Krishna (Partha Sarathi) was under construction and Sarvabhauma Prabhu promised that upon its completion the devotees would come and recite the Bhagavad Gita at the temple to commemorate the event.

Our next destination was Pamplemousses Garden where Maharaj gave a most inspiring and edifying class on the importance of hearing in relation to bhakti. He also stressed the importance of reading the Gita every day and explained how this could be the spiritual basis for reform, especially amongst the youth. Then prasadam was served, after which we boarded the bus again in direction of Triolet where we had darshan of Jagannath-Baladev-Subhadra deities. At the very beginning of ISKCON in Mauritius, Caranbhuja Prabhu (ACBSP) discovered this 3D replica of Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra in a local Shivala in Triolet. The devotees were so happy to find the Lord worshipped, in Mauritius, in this rare form that the Shivala became a favourite. Recently, and ISKCON devotee, Varada Krishna Prabhu renovated Lord Jagannath's altar so the Lord was beaming brightly at the devotees.

The last stop was the Sri Sri Rukmini Dwarkadish temple, built and run by an ISKCON devotee, Mukta Purusa Prabhu. There, everyone was so enthused by the exquisite darshan of the Deities (Lord Nathji, Sri Sri Rukmini Dwarkadish and Lord Narsimhadeva) that Maharaj led another boisterous kirtan and gave another class which ended with the singing of the Narsimha Kavacha.

After the ecstatic kirtan and singing, sumptious prasadam was served and everyone – hearts gladdened and inspired by the spiritual dimension of this outing – returned to their respective destinations.

Photos of the event may be viewed here